Oxford Dictionary Selects An Emoji As “Word of the Year”

Last year it was vape. The year before that, it was selfie. Every year since 2004, Oxford Dictionaries has selected an official word of the year which, according to its Monday press release is “a word or expression chosen to reflect the passing year in language.” This year texting teens have helped to make “emoji” the Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year, an emoji officially called 'Face with Tears of Joy'.
Although emoji have been shared by teenagers for some time, their culture has “exploded into the global mainstream” over the past year, according to Oxford University Press. This year OUP linked up with leading mobile technology business SwiftKey to look at statistics for some of the most popular emoji across the world and “Face with Tears of Joy” came out a clear winner as the most heavily used emoji globally.

"There were other strong contenders from a range of fields, outlined below, but was chosen as the 'word' that best reflected the ethos, mood, and preoccupations of 2015," according to the Oxford Dictionary blog. They note that this is a year where emojis in general went mainstream, employed by everyone from big brands to presidential candidates.

Other words and expressions that made the 2015 Word of the Year shortlist: Ad blocker, Dark Web, lumbersexual, on fleek, refugee, Brexit, and sharing economy. A curious entry into the shortlist was also “they.”                                                            ..... Devashree Goenka